On Target
October 5, 2007

Nibbling at some sporting issues

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is never short of exciting sporting events and issues, and there is always intrigue that grabs our attention.

Over the past weeks, there have been some developments that are worthy of us partaking even though they may not so palatable.{{more}}

The current senior Windward Islands cricket tournament is taking place here without much notice. The two entities, the Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association should bury their heads in shame at the lack of publicity of the event. I see why the Windwards continue to be called the “Cinderellas of West Indies Cricket’, as they are made to feel so by those in authority by the slip shod approach lent to the annual exercise.

Looking at the teams except St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica, one may think it’s a goat match taking place. To have the St. Lucia and Grenada teams appearing on the field not uniformed tell the tale of the interest shown at this level which is the highest form of cricket in the four territories of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.

I am certain that with the proceeds that the Windwards Board received from the world cup, some should have filtered down such that the two teams in question could have been better outfitted.

To make matters worse, there was an absence of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines team on the opening day at Arnos Vale on Monday September 24. No excuse for this oversight as host.

Adding insult, to see the reserve players at water breaks with a small receptacle in order to refresh the players shows the lack of attention paid to this level.

It seems that our administrators are only concerned with the window dressing for the big occasions and neglect the cradle. Had it been another event involving the so called big names then advertising would have been deafening. Then we complain of the poor performance of the Windwards team in regional tournaments, when the players are given second class treatment by their own.

It is often a culture shock when they are thrown to the bigger stage. And the scores responded with reciprocity to the level of the tournament. Teams being dismissed under 100 and bowlers picking up bags of wickets with some innocuous bowling, tell the tale of where we are at in the Windwards.

Shifting gear, I welcome the announcement of the thrust towards a wellness programme to combat non communicable diseases.

The approach though must start with education of the young ones and moreso the policy makers and shapers in our system who do not see Physical Education as important.

Schools and housing projects are being built in 2007 with no provisions for recreation. And some schools with playing facilities at their disposal are being denied use because of directives by some ill informed principals.

The wellness revolution as it is called must move swiftly to put a handle on what is sold at the tuck shops and trays. These activities often go counter productive to the Health and Family Life programmes that exist at our various educational institutions.

The “Wellness Revolution’, though well meaning must be structured to include accessibility to facilities, dog laws, environmental restrictions, the whole gamut.

Staying here at home, word is out that the life of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) has been extended to December.

It is laughable to think that the others in the Caribbean have been disbanded, while ours is still in tact. Yes there were some teething problems, and it is known that there is a lot of unfinished work, but why the delay?

Remember St. Vincent and the Grenadines only staged four warm up matches prior to the real world event.

As life goes on, so too is the marriage with the National Sports Council. Infidelity and lack of communication by one of the partners seem to be ruining the relationship as the finger pointing continues.

I will forever point my fingers at the LOC for its stance on the mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field. The latest explanation that its presence is for proper drainage, counters local knowledge of that facility, as the real experts reside in the community.